Eric Texier, Northern Rhône

Éric Texier, Charnay

It’s not an easy task to summarize this guy without writing a novel. There are so many stories and experiences around Éric Texier.
Éric and his wife Laurence met while studying engineering in Lyon. They loved to go mountain climbing together and unexpectedly they also enjoyed drinking wine on those occasions (seems dangerous but this was during the golden 70’s). The interest in wine increased during this time. When Éric and Laurence were done with school they decided to move into a flat in town and started their grown up careers in the nuclear industry.

That industry gives you a pretty decent salary, whereupon they started to invest in wines. It was all about the big names when they started, but after a while biggies bored them so Éric started to look outside the box and found another level of greatness in the wines from Gourgonnier, Chamonard, Trollat, Gentaz, Goyard and Guffens, among many others.

Another thing that bored Éric was his work, so he decided to do an internship with Jean-Marie Guffens at Domaine Verget in Burgundy. This amazing decision was followed by a decision to study at the proper Bordeaux oenology school where he (among many other winemakers we are working with) just learned what he didn’t want to do. After school, in 1995, Éric and Laurence moved into a house in the village of Charnay, southern Beaujolais. Éric made his first wine from an old parcel of Chardonnay in Saint-Véran and an even older Marsanne from Crozes-Hérmitage. In 1998 Éric finally quit his engineering job and bottled the first wines à la Texier.

In 2000 Éric bought his first 0,5-hectare vineyard in Brèzéme, an almost forgotten appellation just on the border of southern and northern Rhône. Since this place is all about politics and family traditions it’s really hard to buy land here. Anyway, nowadays Éric has 4,5 hectares of old vines of Syrah and Serrine in Brèzéme. In 2009 he also purchased a few hectares in Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban, just up the Ouvèze Valley on the other side of the Rhône River. Today he runs about 7,5 hectares there.

Besides this, Éric makes wines from Côte-Rôtie, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the southern Rhône where he buys grapes from friends that have the fruit he’s looking for and farms organically.
All wines are vinified in Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban before being shipped to Éric and Laurence’s beautiful cellar in Charnay.

So, why live in Beaujolais and make wine from all over the Rhône Valley? The reason for that was that Éric had a plan to make wine in Burgundy but soon realised that this place needs more money than two engineer’s salaries. But no surprise, Eric brilliantly managed to start making the kind of wines he was longing for.

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The red wines are classic, structured and complex. Pure fruit, great length and fine aromatics with a clear origin.
The white wines are fresh, fruity and mineral with fine structure.

2017 Adèle (Available in 20 liters Key-keg)

Soil: Clay, limestone and quartz on top of granite rock.
Grape: Clairette
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1977-2012
Yields: 30hl/h

Vinification: Direct press followed by fermentation in concrete tanks. Aged for 8 months on lees before bottling.


2017 Brézème Roussanne

Soil: Rocky soil with Limestone in all Brezeme
Grape: Roussanne
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 2012
Yields: 20hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and fermented and aged on concrete tanks. Bottled in May 2018.


2015 Brézème Vieille Roussette

 Soil: Rocky soil with argilo calcaire and pebbles.
Grape: Roussanne, the old local name is Rousette
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1952
Yields: 20hl/h

Vinification: 50% of the grapes are directly pressed and then fermented and aged in old demi-muids. The other 50% are fermenting with the skins on amphora for 2 months, and then aged on the same amphora. After 12 months of ageing Éric blends the wines and leave them for a couple of months on old demi muid before bottling in the beginning of 2017.


2016 Vieille Marsanne

 Soil: Granit
Grape: Marsanne
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1950
Yields: 20hl/h

Vinification: Whole-cluster fermentation for 1 month in concrete tanks before pressing and then aged for 12 months in old barrels before bottling.


2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape VV Blanc

Soil: Pebbles
Grape: Clairette and Bourbolenc
Appellation: AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Age of Vines: Planted in 1904
Yields: 15-20 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press, fermentation in old barriques and aged on lees for 18 months before bottling.


2019 Guindols Rosé Petnat(KeyKeg)

Soil: Sand, limestone and gravels.
Grape: Cinsault
Appellation: VDF
Age of Vines: planted 1950-2009
Yields: 40 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 1 day in open vats before pressing and ageing in concrete tanks. Bottled with some sugar left to create the perfect bubbles. Disgorged and then filled up in KeyKegs April 2020. This wine is made from certified organic grapes that Eric buys from his friend at Domaine du Puechredon in Gard, Languedoc.


2018 Chat Fou (2019 available in 20 liters Key-keg)

Soil: Clay, limestone and quartz on top of granite rock.
Grape: 85% Grenache 15% Clairette and Marsanne
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1968-1978
Yields: 30 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 4 days in open vats for the Grenache before ageing in concrete tanks. Direct press for the whites, fermentation and aged in concrete tanks. Blending and bottling takes place after 8 months of ageing.


2018 Guindols (Key-Keg)

Soil: Sand, limestone and gravels.
Grape: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault
Appellation: VDF
Age of Vines: Planted in 1950-2009
Yields: 40 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 4 days in open vats before pressing and aged in concrete tanks. Blending and bottling took place after 8 months of ageing. This wine is made from grapes that Eric buys from his friend at Domaine du Puechredon in Gard, Languedoc, certified organic grapes.


2016 St Julien en St Alban

Soil: Argilo calcaire and quartz on top of granite rock
Grape: Syrah
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1986
Yields: 25hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 1 week in open vats before pressing. 20 months of ageing in concrete tanks, bottled in June 2018.


2017 Brézème

Soil: Rocky soils with limestone
Grape: Syrah
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 2001-2006
Yields: 25hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 1 week in open vats before pressing. 18 months of ageing in concrete tanks, bottled in March 2019.


2012/2014 Brézème Vieilles Serine

Soil: Clay and limestone on top of hill and decomposed clay and limestone on bottom.
Grape: Serine (an old indigenous Syrah variety)
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1959
Yields: 25hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats before pressing. 3 years of ageing in foudres before bottling, no sulphur added.


2013/2014 St Julien en St Alban Vieilles Serine

Soil: Granite rock
Grape: Serine (an old indigenous Syrah variety)
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1950
Yields: 25hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats before pressing. 3 years of ageing in foudres before bottling, no sulphur added.


2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape VV Rouge

Soil: Pebbles.
Grape: Grenache
Appellation: AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge
Age of Vines: Planted in 1904
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 1 week in open vats before pressing and 24 months of ageing in old demi-muid and barriques. Then the wines are blended and allowed to rest for a few more months before bottling.


2016 Le Clau

Soil: Granite rock, 0,5 ha planted in the lieu-dit ‘Le Clau’
Grape: They thought it was Serine (an old indigenous Syrah variety) but have now found out that it probably is Exbrayat or Bravade (old varieties from the region you don’t see anymore). They are researching on the variety, until then we can just freely enjoy this beautiful wine as it is without thinking about varieties.
Appellation: AOC Côtes du Rhône
Age of Vines: Planted in 1930
Yields: 20hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 5 days in open vats before pressing. 15 months of ageing in demi-muids before bottling, no sulphur added.


2017 Côte Rôtie Vieilles Vignes

Soil: Granite and decomposed granite, steep terraced vineyard.
Grape: Syrah
Appellation: AOC Côte Rôtie
Age of Vines: Planted in 1975
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks in open vats before 18 months of ageing in old demi-muid and barriques.